25 Jun Buying Affordable Art Online | Favorite Resources and What to Look For
Next time you feel the urge to redecorate, step back and take a deep breath and turn to your walls. Still have those old framed posters from your early 20s? Or maybe you’re staring at a massive gallery wall of fading family photos…
Either way, I’m willing to bet that it’s time for some new art.
Buying art is daunting at best, but today there are a ton of great sites that feature new and emerging artists with pieces for just about any budget.
Buying affordable art online also takes away the frightening thought of walking into a gallery and feeling like a complete idiot. It gives you a chance to do a little research, and envision how the pieces will look in your space.
However, online art buying isn’t without controversy. Some claim it has undervalued fine art and saturated the market with bad art. Here’s our take on it. You be the judge.
A stepping stone into the art world
Collecting online “democratizes” the notoriously exclusive international art market and eliminates the intimidation factor for new collectors. First-time buyers usually look to online sources before walking into a gallery. Even those with limited knowledge of the contemporary art landscape can easily make some meaningful additions to their walls and/or start a collection from the ground up through online resources.
Saves time and money
Buying art online can save you a ton of time, and you can see a much broader range of prices/styles. It can take a LOT of time to find work you like if you’re just gallery hopping. The whole in-gallery sales thing can also be a long process, with lots of negotiating back and forth, etc. Online = straightforward.
Finding emerging artists
It’s easier to spot up-and-coming talent online (scroll down for some of our favorites). Artists are increasingly uploading their work in an effort to craft an online presence and bolster recognition with collectors. This one is a big pro, since there are amazing opportunities to collect work before it gets famous (i.e. before it gets ridiculously expensive).
The more traditional route
Yes online is awesome, but sometimes it’s just better to visit a gallery. In a traditional setting, you are dealing with people who can provide context about an artist’s body of work, direct you to certain pieces in your price range, and walk you through the whole purchasing/shipping process. There is a lot more personal attention.
Seeing a painting or sculpture in person also allows you to better visualize it in your space. Buyers can see how the art looks in different lighting and contexts. Galleries often loan work to collectors to try out in their homes (even the affordable pieces!). No way will you get that with an online transaction.
Conclusion: Online vs. In Person?
Online platforms have positively transformed the art market (especially for first time buyers and those looking for affordable pieces) and will continue to be a valuable resource for collectors. However, it may never truly replace the experience of buying art in a traditional gallery setting or art fair.
Check out a few of our favorite affordable art sites.
This site is amazing if you’re looking for something truly original. Minted features incredible original artwork in limited edition runs. You can order the prints in multiple sizes with a variety of framing options. They also make it easy to search for specific types of art and prices start at $20!
If you’re on the hunt for some cool photography then 20×200 is a great site to visit. They collaborate with emerging artists to create limited edition pieces and give them a chance to showcase their best work. Plus, they are just as discerning with the $24 pieces as they are with the more expensive works, so you know you’re getting a quality piece no matter how small your budget.
New artists can submit their art collections, which means you get a piece of original art at an awesomely affordable price. Buy Some Damn Art is a great source for eclectic paintings and mixed media pieces.
It’s all about the eclectic and quirky at Little Paper Planes, which supports emerging artists. Abstract, watercolor, graphic—you can find pretty much anything.
A wide range of artwork at lots of different prices, UGallery’s mission is “democratize” the process of purchasing art making it accessible to everyone and giving artists a place to connect with collectors. Some of our favorite pieces come from this site.
Quirky and British, this UK site has great artwork if you’re looking for something odd and original. They even sell taxidermy pieces! The prices may be in pounds, but once you convert it the prices start at a very affordable range.
The mission of Grand Image is to bring great pieces of art to it’s customers and to create a positive experience when purchasing their pieces. They bring in artists work ranging from paintings to multi-media and digital art and in limited edition runs so you know you’re getting a unique piece.